13

Here's the situation:

  • A game gets a revolutionary update, which changes tons of important stuff.
  • A player that was used to the old game system doesn't know how to reach their goal in the new version of the game.
  • The player does not find any solutions on the internet, but finds this Q&A website called Arqade instead.
  • The player creates an Arquade account and asks a version-specific question.

Ever since the release of Java Minecraft 1.13, there's loads and loads of questions like this, especially on the tag.

As someone who usually tries to answer these questions, I look up the internet for out-of-date solutions, so that I can convert them into the up-to-date format.

What I usually find, though, is a question on Arqade with these out-of-date answers. When you think about it, the old posts must also be what the new user must've found. However, since they are a new user, they cannot start a bounty or anything to bring attention to the old questions, instead they have no choice but to ask a new question.

Unfortunately, these questions receive low score and little attention, as most first posts do. What this means is someone may be looking for the answer that's already out there, but they don't find it, and ask a duplicate question.

This made me think about where I should put my answer. I have the following choices:

  1. Answer only the new version-specific question, the new user gets what they want, but the old, more popular question is still out of date.
  2. Answer the old question only with an up to date answer and flag the new one as duplicate, which is unfair to the new user, which lowers the chances of him becoming a member of this community.
  3. Answer both. One of the questions eventually gets marked as duplicate, and the answer on it may get low score and hate.

What's the best thing to do?

  • 4
    This is a problem on many technology-related Stack Exchange sites, and it's a problem that SE hasn't figured out a good way to fix yet. – Kyralessa Jun 3 at 19:30
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I believe the correct thing to do is to post a new answer to the outdated question and specify that the new answer is for the updated version.

You can leave a comment on the new (duplicate) question telling the user that you have posted an updated answer - this gets the new user to go to the original question, see your new answer and upvote it.

You can also try to give an edit to the original question, specifying multiple versions. As long as you don't change what the original question is asking for, this shouldn't be a problem.

This has a lot of benefits in my opinion. It reduces the places needed to look for an answer. You will have an updated version answer, you will have an old version answer, and it will all be contained in one question. Less places to look, lots of answers. It gets the new user looking around the site, gives them a comparison between versions, allows them to vote meaningfully and keep Arcade clean of "version specific questions".

It's a good opportunity to make a "well informed answer" also. You can go into how it worked in previous versions, what you need to do to update your command and so on. There's a lot of room in your answer to be specific and give a great answer.

1

Regarding Minecraft specifically, I think the best course of action is to answer the new question and ignore the old one, because when you launch it, you can choose whichever version you like.

An answer for 1.13 might be different from 1.14, but both are valid answers, and not duplicate.

Most I could suggest is if the old question or the new question doesn't mention the version, you could add it to the question or answer.

However, if the command for both versions is the same, mark the new question as duplicate and carry on.

  • This is accurate. Lots of people choose to play on 1.12.2, for example. Answers regarding specific older versions are still helpful. – Roijan Eskor Jun 4 at 16:29

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